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When Nerds Fight

Encyclopedia Britannica has taken out an advertisement in several major newspapers demanding that magazine Nature retract a December story that showed fairly even accuracy with Wikipedia. The ad appears like a memo, “RE: Demand for Retraction”. Ouch, I guess the normal editorial channels didn’t respond. The memo, uh, advertisement, describes the Nature article as “an affront to the principles of sound scholarship, and we urge Nature to issue a full and public retraction of the article”. From “we urge” is underlined.

Who says there’s no drama in science? 

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Not So Fast

I really dig the New York Times redesign that launched yesterday. There’s something blog meets print paper about the new layout. I’m reading more than ever, and I love the great emphasis on digital content. Strange, I likely will continue subscribing to the Sunday paper, which gets opens access to online premium content.

Anyway, today I devoured story “Living on Impulse“, which I probably would have missed if not for the redesign. Reporter Benedict Carey masterfully gets to the bottom of science studies about impulsive behavior. His story is non-fiction, science writing at its best. 

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Let Be the Midwives

The New York Times looks at the prosecution of midwives in Indiana, where only doctors and nurses can legally assist births. I believe the same may hold true in Maryland, where we used a licensed midwife-nurse for our daughter’s birth.

Midwifery certainly predates any law governing the practice or the modern-day practice of hospital deliveries. This doctor-hospital thing is a fairly recent practice, while midwives have been birthing babies for millennia. 

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Another Measure of Beauty

I find pragmatism to be an attractive quality, assuming that’s the right word. Today at IKEA, I observed this petite blonde with a tape measure clipped to the right back pocket of her jeans. There was something unwomanly about it that I find really appealing.

I feel the same way about women with cell phones clipped to their front jeans pocket; and to think so many women wear earrings! I’ve never had much taste for girlie girls that wear more makeup than frosting on cake. But this… 

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Too Warm in a Cold Place

Uh-oh. National Geographic warns of unusual warming over Antarctica, that “cannot be explained by the climate models scientists use to predict the effects of global warming from increased greenhouse gases”. Yikes!

Some people might contend the unexpected “temperature spike, which is three times larger than the global average”, is sure sign of global warming. Not me. I think it’s another proof point the global warming models are meaningless. The spike occurs in an area 5 kilometers above the surface, and scientists “are now trying to understand why the atmosphere warming is disconnected from surface temperatures”. 

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You’ve Got Be Kidding

I am glad it’s an election year. Conservative legislators held a news conference today, where they lambasted Senate lawmakers for passing an immigration amnesty bill. The House wants to tighten immigration rules.

According to CNN, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.) said, “I say let the prisoners pick the fruits”. From Rep. Steve King of Iowa: “Anybody that votes for an amnesty bill deserves to be branded with a scarlet letter A”. The brand should be on these representatives and their colleagues making these outrageous statements.